New study on gender bias in student evaluations

“Our analysis of comments in both formal student evaluations and informal online ratings indicates that students do evaluate their professors differently based on whether they are women or men,” the study says. “Students tend to comment on a woman’s appearance and personality far more often than a man’s. Women are referred to as ‘teacher’ [as opposed to professor] more often than men, which indicates that students generally may have less professional respect for their female professors.”

Based on empirical evidence of online SETs, it continues, “bias does not seem to be based solely (or even primarily) on teaching style or even grading patterns. Students appear to evaluate women poorly simply because they are women.”

Read more.

Paradoxes about professional women explained?

According to this:

  • Women publish less, but their papers are more readable.
  • Women apply for fewer grants, but their applications do better.
  • Women doctors see fewer patients, but their patients are less likely to die.
  • Women realtors show fewer properties, but get higher prices for them.

Suggested solution: women know they will be held to higher standards, so take longer and therefore do better (but slower) work.  Read more here.

Lawsuit against Kipnis moves forward

A judge decided Tuesday to proceed with a lawsuit filed by a graduate student against Communication Prof. Laura Kipnis and HarperCollins Publishers, declining to grant a motion filed by the defendants in July to dismiss the suit…

The student, using the pseudonym Jane Doe, filed the suit in May in response to Kipnis’ book, “Unwanted Advances: Sexual Paranoia Comes to Campus.” In the book, Kipnis criticizes Northwestern’s Title IX procedures, detailing Kipnis’ experience with the process and discussing two Title IX complaints filed by Doe and another student against former philosophy Prof. Peter Ludlow accusing him of sexual assault.

Doe’s suit alleges that the book, which has received national attention, intentionally misrepresents facts and publishes private and unnecessary details about her. As quoted in the Tuesday order, the lawsuit calls “Unwanted Advances” a book “that — page after page — exposes extremely private and painful parts of Plaintiff’s life, makes false statements about her conduct, brands her a vengeful liar and turns this promising young graduate student’s life upside down for the entire world to see.”

Doe filed the suit on four counts, according to the order: public disclosure of private facts, false light invasion of privacy, defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

This case is so very important, not just to philosophy but to the protection of victims’ rights. Read more here.

St Andrews Head: We will cancel E&D efforts if strike succeeds (petition)

As you may be aware, UK academics are engaged in their biggest ever strike.  There have been lots of threats from management.  But the St Andrews Principal has specifically treated to axe Equality and Diversity efforts if the strike succeeds.

From the petition:

In an email to staff at the University of St Andrews dated 20.2.2018 you listed a number of initiatives which are allegedly in jeopardy should the USS pension scheme remain as a Defined Benefit, rather than change to a Defined Contribution scheme. All of these particularly pertained to the rights of women and people from minority and disadvantaged groups studying and working in your institution; they included: a mentoring scheme for mid-career and senior academic women, a professorial merit exercise, housing development for early and mid-career staff, a nursery for the children of staff and students. Your email signaled that inclusivity and diversity would be de-prioritised, and research into them cancelled should the dispute be determined in line with proposals submitted by the University and College Union.

Read on, and please sign.  And share.

Chris Meyns on Elisabeth of Bohemia

Even in scholarship of early modern philosophy, Descartes easily gets credit for ideas that were at least as much Bohemia’s. Not that Bohemia is totally ignored. It’s more subtle than that. We find ample cases where, because of how Bohemia’s role is represented, she’s just ever so slightly pushed away from center stage.

Read the whole thing.

Final CFA: Women in Philosophy (SWIP Ireland, Dublin)

Society for Women in Philosophy, Ireland i​n association with In Parenthesis (Durham University  and University of Liverpool​)​

6th Annual Conference and General Meeting of SWIP-Ireland

17-19 May, 2018

University College Dublin, Ireland

Women in Philosophy: Past, Present and Future

True it is, Spinning with the Fingers is more proper to our Sexe, then studying or writing Poetry, which is the Spinning with the braine: but I having no skill in the Art of the first (and if I had, I had no hopes of gaining so much as to make me a Garment to keep me from the cold) made me delight in the latter – Margaret Cavendish

Though academic philosophy is still a male-dominated discipline, and the canon of philosophy is largely male, the future of philosophy promises to be less so. After years of scholarly neglect, the contribution of a large number of women philosophers across the ages is now being recognised – from medieval mystics to Enlightenment philosophers of science to founding mothers of analytic philosophy and phenomenology. At the same time, broad consensus is afoot that certain disciplinary norms, once-entrenched, no longer serve our discipline and have contributed to the attrition of female talent from philosophy.

This SWIP-Ireland conference, in collaboration with In Parenthesis, invites papers on the broad topic of Women in Philosophy: Past, Present and Future. The occasion of the workshop is the centenary of a paper published in Mind by the Irish philosopher and prominent librarian, Agnes Cuming. The conference welcomes contributions relevant to the general theme of the role of women in philosophy. Papers from all approaches and traditions in philosophy including submissions on neglected historical figures, reports of archival visits, as well as reflection on methodological practice and on visions for philosophy in the future are encouraged. Papers from graduate students and philosophers working outside academia are also welcome. Presentations and panels related to any aspect of the work of the keynote speakers are also welcome.

Keynote speakers:           

Eileen Brennan (Dublin City University)

Nancy Cartwright (Durham University)

Siobhan Chapman (University of Liverpool)

Kristin Gjesdal (Temple University)

Sally Haslanger (MIT)

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir (University of Iceland)

Abstracts: Please submit an anonymised abstract of 300-400 words and provide separate contact details. 

Deadline: March 1​0​, 2018.

NB. Abstracts should be sent to as a Word document attachment (not PDF and not in the body of an email message) in an email with the subject heading SWIP 2018.

Presentations will be 20 minutes plus 10 minutes discussion.

Notification of acceptance: Notifications of acceptance will be sent out three weeks after the closing date of the call.

Panel submissions are also welcome: Please submit an anonymised panel description of 400-600 words, including the proposed individual contributions on the panel theme. List the proposed contributors and the corresponding author’s contact details separately.

An additional panel will be convened by the In Parenthesis project.

In Parenthesis studies the collective corpus of Irish-born philosophers Iris Murdoch and Elizabeth Anscombe, together with Phillipa Foot and Mary Midgley, with whom they studied in Oxford during WWII. For more information see

For further information see